Luke 4:38-44 (ESV)
38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them. 40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. 42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Jesus left the synagogue at Capernaum and went to Simon’s house. Although Simon was his birth name, Jesus renamed him Peter. Simon’s nickname, Peter, is used most often (159 times) in the New Testament. When Jesus entered the house, he found Peter’s mother-in-law was quite sick with a high fever. Her condition was more life-threatening and dangerous than it sounds. Because no effective fever-reducing medicines or even antibiotics were readily available and in the first century, people died far more easily than they do in the western world today. So those in Peter’s home appealed to Jesus on behalf of Peter’s mother-in-law. It’s worth noting that clearly Peter was married. In fact, according to church history, Peter had children, and his wife was very involved in women’s ministry. Jesus stood over Peter’s mother-in-law and rebuked the fever. The Greek word translated as “rebuke” literally means “to express strong disapproval.” Jesus let the fever know it wasn’t welcome in her body. Immediately, Peter’s mother-in-law got up and began to serve Jesus and those in the home. She was instantaneously healed. Jesus then went on to heal any who were sick or suffered from various diseases.
Jesus could have said to Peter’s mother-in-law, “Hey, this life is temporary. Get it together. You’ll be dead soon.” But he didn’t. Instead, he had compassion on her, along with all those who were brought to him, and he healed every one of them. The physical healing Jesus brought reflected the spiritual healing that all desperately need. Have you been healed by Jesus? Was there a time when he rebuked the sin in your life, declaring that you are a new creation and from his perspective entirely whole again? Has he snatched you from the dominion of death and darkness and placed you into his righteousness? If so, then like Peter’s mother-in-law, you should get up and serve Jesus too. Do we serve the Lord to earn our salvation? No! That would be impossible. No one can earn her way to perfection. Instead, we serve Jesus because we are grateful for the healing he has imparted to us. If you are a Christian, make sure you are serving Jesus by taking on some role in your church. As we serve in our church, we display our gratitude to Jesus, who delivered us from darkness. We long to serve him because we realize we would be dead without him.